News | Washington Football Team - WashingtonFootball.com

Taking on Tiki: Next Challenge For Run 'D'

After four games, the Redskins have been solid in terms of their run defense. They haven't given up a 100-yard game to any back yet.

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Julius Jones of the Cowboys rushed for 94 yards against Washington on Week 2, Chester Taylor of the Vikings 88 in the opener.

The last two weeks, the Redskins limited the Texans to 61 rushing yards and the Jaguars to just 33 rushing yards. The unit is ranked fifth overall, yielding 79.5 rushing yards per game.

Now, comes the Tiki test.

In their darkest day of 2005, you may recall, the Redskins yielded a career-high 206 yards to Tiki Barber at the Meadowlands in a 36-0 Giants rout.

As they begin to prepare for Sunday's return to Giants Stadium, the Redskins have to focus on finding ways to keep Barber in check. And, of course, that means making sure Barber doesn't get going early.

Last year at the Meadowlands, the 5-10, 200-pound running back in his 10th NFL season out of the University of Virginia ripped off a 57-yard gain on the Giants' first play from scrimmage.

He finished the day with 24 carries and a four-yard TD run among his 206 yards. That amounts to 8.6 yards per carry.

Overall that day, the Giants ran for 262 yards and averaged 5.8 yards each rush. The Redskins certainly realize they can't let that type of thing happen on Week 5.

Actually, over the years Washington has been able to contain Barber for the most part.

In 17 career games versus the Redskins, he's scored just two touchdowns and gone over the 100-yard mark just twice. By contrast, Barber has seven 100-yard games versus Philadelphia in his career and three versus Dallas.

In the 2005 Giants-Redskins rematch at FedExField, Barber managed 80 yards on 16 carries and did break free for a 31-yard gain. On balance, though, the Washington defense kept him bottled up that day and walked off with a 35-20 win.

Barber would go on to the Pro Bowl after a season in which he rushed for 1,860 yards.

With the Week 16 win, of course, the Redskins gained a measure of revenge for the 36-0 loss to the Giants three months earlier.

In the backdrop of the Oct. 30 game was the fact that long-time New York owner Wellington Mara died in the days leading up to the game. The Giants, naturally, played at a high emotional level.

"Sure, that was part of it, but we helped them out a lot, too," veteran offensive lineman Ray Brown said late that afternoon last fall.

There will be plenty of emotion surrounding Sunday's game as well. Not only is it a key early-season NFC East matchup but also the Redskins will get their first look at LaVar Arrington in a Giants' jersey. He has just 12 tackles through three games.

The Giants are 1-2 and in desperate need of a win. They're coming off a bye and will have had two weeks to think about a nasty 42-30 loss at Seattle on Sept. 24.

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